Geography is the key that unlocks the door to the world’s wonders. There are, of course, many ways of viewing the world and its diverse physical and human features. In this series the emphasis is on people and their cultures. As you step through the geographic door into the ten world cultures covered in this series, you will come to better know, understand, and appreciate the world’s mosaic of peoples and how they live. You will see how different peoples adapt to, use, and change their natural environments. And you will be amazed at the vast differences in thinking, doing, and living practiced around the world. The MODERN WORLD CULTURES series was developed in response to many requests from librarians and teachers throughout the United States and Canada.
Australia, New Zealand, and the many island groups in the southern Pacific Ocean all feel the effects, in one way or another, of the world’s largest ocean: the Pacific. To reach these places, various groups of settlers had to cross that ocean in whole or in part. Its currents affect the climate, and vacationers swim in its waters. We often refer to this region as “Oceania,” and in this book it is referred to as Australia and the Pacific.
Introduction Introducing Australia and the Pacific Natural Landscapes of Australia and the Pacific Cultural History People and Culture Geopolitics Economy Regional Contrasts Australia and the Pacific Islands Look Ahead History at a Glance